The Ivy Coach Daily

May 18, 2024

The Rhodes Scholarship: 2024 Rhodes Scholars

A columned building with a domed, green roof is featured at Oxford.
32 students received Rhodes Scholarships in 2024 from the United States (photo credit: Kaihsu).

The Rhodes Scholarship, in addition to being the oldest postgraduate award in the world, is one of the most prestigious and competitive. Rhodes Scholars must be current undergraduates intent upon studying at the University of Oxford for a graduate degree. Only 32 scholarships are allocated for the United States. In 2024, the nation’s 32 awardees were selected from a pool of 862 applicants, for an overall acceptance rate of 3.7%, mimicking that of highly selective undergraduate institutions (only with the additional caveat that many of the students in the application pool already come from highly selective undergraduate institutions!).

How are Rhodes Scholars Selected?

Applicants to the Rhodes Scholarship must go through an extensive selection process that is time and resource-intensive. In addition to completing an application for — and being accepted into — a graduate program at Oxford, Rhodes candidates must develop a comprehensive plan of study to show to the Selection Committee that they have thought through how they will take advantage of the scholarship. According to the Rhodes Scholarship’s application details:

“The Rhodes application form requires you to provide:

That’s right, all applicants must submit between five and eight unique letters of recommendation in order to be considered. Four of these must come from undergraduate faculty that have taught the applicant, while at least one must speak to the applicant’s “character and involvement in extra-curricular, service or leadership activities.” Assembling these recommendations presents a major logistical hurdle for most applicants, so the earlier one starts, the better!

Once all the materials are submitted, applicants who are selected as finalists must travel to pre-determined “Meeting Cities,” at their own expense, to be interviewed by members of the Selection Committee. Shortly thereafter, the winning students are announced.

Where Did the 2024 Rhodes Scholars Earn Their Bachelor’s?

Rhodes Scholars must prove themselves through academic distinction and lofty professional ambition, which means, in practice, that many of these students are drawn from top universities. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of alma maters for the 32 students who received Rhodes Scholarships in 2024 from the U.S.

Undergraduate Colleges of American Rhodes Scholars-Elect for 2024Number of Recipients
Harvard University9
Dartmouth College2
United States Military Academy2
Yale University2
Agnes Scott College1
Columbia University1
Georgetown University1
Johns Hopkins University1
New York University1
New York University Abu Dhabi1
Princeton University1
Rhodes College1
United States Air Force Academy1
United States Naval Academy1
University of Georgia1
University of Michigan1
University of Montana1
University of Oregon1
University of Virginia1
Washington University in St. Louis1
Williams College1

Analysis of Feeder Universities for Rhodes Scholarship

21 different U.S. universities produced Rhodes Scholars in 2024. Many names on this list will not come as a surprise: five out of the eight Ivies produced students, as did Williams, WashU, UVA, Michigan, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown. The only schools to turn out more than one Rhodes Scholar this year were Harvard, Dartmouth, the United States Military Academy, and Yale. But even within this distinguished bracket of schools, Harvard dwarfs its counterparts with a whopping nine students, more than the remaining top three schools combined. In fact, Harvard accounted for 28% of all Rhodes Scholars this year.

Why did Harvard in particular, and the Ivy League more broadly, dominate this list? For the same reason these schools draw immense application pools that produce similarly single-digit acceptance rates: Ivy League schools attract, and in turn, produce, the best and brightest minds in each generation. The Rhodes Selection Committee knows that an Ivy Leaguer has a skill for taking advantage of institutional resources, which is exactly what they expect from their scholars. An education from an institution like Harvard is worth the hype — not only does it open doors to postgraduate opportunities such as the Rhodes Scholarship, but it has incredible educational and pre-professional merit in its own right. 

How Ivy Coach Helps Students Earn the Rhodes Scholarship

Ivy Coach is not daunted by the prestige of mythic proportions that surrounds the Rhodes Scholarship. If you’re interested in Ivy Coach’s assistance in optimizing your case for winning the Rhodes Scholarship, fill out our complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch.

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